Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/7735
The focus of this research is in the area of embodied solar energy. Emergy based environmental evaluation of renewable energy based on heat, power and steel recycling processes was performed.
The research approach adopted Odum’s method of emergy analysis. A biomass based combined heat and power (CHP) plant process was evaluated first. Next, a steel recycling process based on scrap and performed in an Electric Arc Furnace was analyzed to calculate the embodied energy consumption of recycled steel. Two energy alternatives were developed: biomass-based and coal-based cogeneration. In each accounting study case a system boundary was defined and a member’s input and output was investigated. The result of each analysis was the emergy table with output transformity value, suitable in further comparisons. Developed systems were based on a renewable energy and raw materials. Pine residues served as the combustion fuel in the cogeneration plant and scrap metal was recycled in the steel mill. The cogeneration and steel market situation of Poland was discussed. Advisability of adequate emergy analysis in Polish reality was presented.
The emergy analysis results provided evidence that fully sustainable manufacturing processes are the future of sustainable economy which would be able to fulfill the emission abatement requirements. The bio-based cogeneration system appeared to have approximately 1,63 times less solar emergy output than fossil-based. Similar results occurred in case of steel recycling study. The presented approach could be used for analyzing resource consumption of processes and used as an energy focused sustainability index.